A finance officer has been compensated after fracturing her right foot in a fall, which led to her developing deep vein thrombosis.

At the time of the accident, the Unite member had just finished an accountancy exam at a college in Cornwall and was leaving the exam hall.

The stairwell and wheelchair ramp leading from the exam hall were not clearly separated and twisted her ankle between the two.

She didn’t immediately seek medical help but returned home. However the next morning she went to hospital because she was in so much pain.

An x-ray discovered that she had broken a bone in her right foot, which meant she needed was in plaster and off work for six weeks. During the time in plaster her leg began to swell due to deep vein thrombosis and she needed a course of blood-thinning tablets to stop the blood clotting in her leg.

When she returned to the college the following year she discovered that the wheelchair ramp that caused her fall had been extended across the entire stairwell to prevent further accidents.

She contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed personal injury specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a claim for compensation.

The woman said: “The problem with the stairwell and wheelchair ramp was the lack of safety markings separating them. My foot was in agony and the next morning I could barely walk.

“For six weeks I was left virtually housebound and, even when I returned to work, I struggled to move around as well as I had done before my injury. If it wasn’t for the help of Thompsons Solicitors and Unite Legal Services, I don’t think I would have been able to secure compensation and actually hold the college to account. Seeing as I never had an apology for what happened to me, I’m glad I had my trade union to turn to.”

Stuart Davies, regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “It’s a cruel irony that something installed as a safety precaution caused our member to painfully injure her foot. A shoddy job fitting the wheelchair ramp created a tripping hazard.

“The compensation secured for our member meant that her prescriptions and transport costs were covered while she recovering from her injury.”